Oregano oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the oregano plant, origanum vulgare. Oregano oil primarily contains two active compounds, carvacrol which is an antibacterial, and thymol which has antifungal properties.
Oregano oil has been used for centuries and we still use it in traditional medicine across the globe to treat cold and flu. Ancient Greek physicians used oregano to treat trauma, wounds, headaches, lung disorders, asthma, bites and as a remedy for colds and disease.
Compounds in oregano oil have effective antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, which explains why oregano has so many benefits. Other properties of oregano include: antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiallergenic, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, and digestive.
10 Benefits of oregano
1. Treats Fungal Infections:
The high levels of carvacrol in oregano oil may help fight certain types of bacteria. Studies have shown oregano to be very effective against most common infection-causing bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus epidermidis. Another compound of oregano oil is Thymol which has antifungal properties and it’s very effective against Candida fungal infections such as:
- Oral thrush
- Athlete’s foot
- Infected toenails and fingernails
- Yeast infections
Oregano oil is high in compounds that are potent antioxidants, such as carvacrol, thymol, and triterpenes. Antioxidants help protect the body from damage caused by oxidative stress and free radicals. Oxidative stress may lead to increased DNA damage and cell death. Oxidation may play a role in issues such as:
- Macular degeneration which causes vision loss
- Degenerative muscles
- Nervous system disorder
A few powerful antioxidants in oregano:
3. Reducing Inflammation:
Some sources claim that oregano oil may help reduce inflammation. The compound carvacrol shows anti-inflammatory effects. In a research study from 2017 investigators looked into carvacrol anti-inflammatory effects. In one study on mice, the compound prevented obesity by affecting the genes involved in inflammation. While the results show promise, more studies on humans should be done to determine dosage.
4. Treats small intestine bacterial overgrowth:
Oregano oil may help treat chronic bacterial issues. People with gastrointestinal problems due to overgrowth of certain bacteria in their intestines. A study in 2014 found that herbal remedies, containing high levels of carvacrol and thymol, both found in oregano oil, were effective in treating small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
5. Regulates Menstruation:
Oregano oil relieves symptoms associated with menstruation and premenstrual symptoms. Oregano oil may help with menstrual flow as it acts as an emmenagogue.
Relieves symptoms such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
It can also help with menopause symptoms such as:
- Mood swings
- Hormonal imbalance
6. Pain Reliever:
There is evidence that oregano oil may be an effective pain reliever and promotes wound healing. Dilute oregano oil for topical use on wounds to help prevent infection and promote wound healing.
7. Aids in Weight Loss:
Oregano oil may be a helpful option for people looking to lose weight. Research has shown that carvacrol, the main compound in oregano oil, disrupts parts of the process that leads to the accumulation of fat tissue, which eventually leads to weight loss.
8. Promotes Gut Health:
Abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea are a few common issues caused by gut parasites. Researchers discovered that oregano oil protected the intestinal barrier of piglets in a study, the piglets were fed a controlled diet and treated with oregano essential oil. E. coli was significantly reduced in the piglets. The finding was linked to the active chemical constituents thymol and carvacrol found in oregano oil.
9. Lowers Cholesterol:
Some studies have shown that oregano oil may help lower cholesterol levels. One study in particular looked at around 50 people, all who had high cholesterol at the start of the trial. Participants were out on a specific diet and 32 of the 50 participants were given oregano oil after each meal. After 3 months the difference was incredible, participants that took oregano oil had lower bad cholesterol and higher good cholesterol than those who didn’t take oregano oil.
10. Natural Insect Repellent:
Research shows that the carvacrol and thymol in oregano oil are useful additions to insect repellent. If you live in an area with a mosquito population you probably cover up all day and use insect repellent to keep mosquitoes away. However, many insect repellents contain harmful chemicals that are damaging to your health, especially with persistent use. Dilute 1-2 drops with a teaspoon of carrier oil such as coconut oil and apply to arms, legs, and neck to prevent mosquito bites.
Oregano Oil Recipes
Cold and Flu Support Inhaler
Add essential oils onto the cotton wick of the aromatherapy inhaler. Once the inhaler is assembled, take the cap off and deeply inhale as needed.
Immune Boost Diffuser Blend
Add oils to the diffuser following diffuser user instructions, turn on and enjoy!
Oregano Oil Tips: When taking oregano essential oil internally, dilute 1 drop in 4 oz of water, take a drop in a veggie or gel capsule, or use it in food recipes.
Oregano Essential Oil Safety Precautions: Oregano oil is to be used with caution. It has a high phenol content and should never be used on the skin undiluted. Dilution recommendation is 1% dilution level. So only 5-6 drops to 1 oz of carrier oil like Jojoba oil.